Compass Submits Confidential SEC Filing For Imminent IPO
Another real estate company backed by SoftBank Group is about to go public.
Compass announced on Tuesday that it had submitted a confidential filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission to hold an initial public offering, The Real Deal reports. The brokerage has retained the services of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley as bookrunners but has not disclosed how many shares it will offer or for how much.
Founded in 2012, Compass entered 2020 the third-largest residential real estate brokerage in terms of deal volume. After laying off 15% of its employees when the coronavirus pandemic hit, it had three months of record growth from June through August, TRD reports.
The brokerage completed its seventh and final private fundraising round in late 2019 with a valuation of $6.4B, having raised a total of $1.5B from private equity sources, including SoftBank Vision Fund.
Much like another SoftBank-backed real estate company, Compass has grown at a pace far outstripping its competitors and in a way that has made a few enemies. Most recently, a California broker filed a "bait-and-switch" lawsuit, alleging that the company lured agents away from other firms with bonus packages paid for by its investors and far out of line with the actual amount of business it was doing, TRD reports.
Compass also fueled much of its growth in 2018 and 2019 through acquisitions of regional firms and even raised some equity by allowing brokers to receive shares in the company rather than money for their commissions.
Because of the speed and at times unorthodox nature of its growth, Compass will be under heavy scrutiny from competitors and potential investors when it reveals the financial documentation necessary to be traded publicly.